5 important tasks to get your tractor winter ready

Spring, summer and fall are the busy seasons for tractors. Winter is the off-season for these magnificent machines. But before you park your tractor in the barn for the winter, you’ll want to prepare it for the quiet season ahead. What you do now can make all the difference in how well your tractor works come next spring. Here’s how to make your tractor winter ready:

#1 Change the Oil
It doesn’t matter whether your tractor has been tending the fields or attending every summer festival, a fresh oil change will do it good. You shouldn’t make the mistake of saying “I’ll do it in the spring.” While you’re staying cozy in your house during cold winter days, sediments in the oil will settle in and solidify. You’ll do yourself a favor by getting rid of those sediments with fresh oil.

#2 Add Fuel Treatment
Fuel left in the tank over winter can become stale and lead to deposits that gum up the system. It can also become less stable, leading to rust and corrosion. Old fuel that sits in a tank over winter can result in sluggish starting next spring. Use fuel treatment to help prevent these truly avoidable problems. It’s such a small thing to do to prevent a potential big headache later on.

#3 Disconnect Battery Cables
Winters are harsh on batteries. By disconnecting the cables, you are more likely to have a working battery next spring. Disconnecting the battery cables prevents electrical accessories from drawing down the power reserves as the tractor sits in storage. You might even want to remove the battery and store it in a sheltered, warmer location. If the cables look worn and old, it's also a good idea to replace them with new cables.

#4 Check the Anti-Freeze
The anti-freeze in your tractor regulates temperatures and protects from corrosion. Before idling your tractor, check the level of the fluid to make sure it doesn't need to be topped off. If your coolant is old, it’s best to drain, flush and replace it with new anti-freeze. Fresh anti-freeze will protect your cooling system from corrosive effects.

#5 Give Your Tractor a Wash
Whether your tractor spent its summer cultivating the fields or touring the festivals, chances are it picked up some dust and dirt along the way. It’s good to wash off all the grime before settling in for winter. To make the job easier, use a pressure washer to spray off mud and dirt that may be clinging to the tractor body

Tractor Maintenance is Time Well Spent
After a long season, it may seem easier to defer these tasks until next spring. But that brings us to the old saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” These steps will pay off in better performance come next spring. Taking care of your tractor for winter is time well spent.

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